When Cadillac introduced the dynamic ATS a few years ago, it was defined as a compact sedan. But with each passing model life cycle, it seems that vehicles in the industry continue to swell ever gradually, which makes the term “compact” increasingly more relative. But in doing so, it can sometimes make room for another vehicle to nestle below it in the hierarchy.
Take for instance the news that Cadillac has plans to debut a new small car below the ATS, which has rear-wheel-drive expectations. In the report from Car and Driver, Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus hinted that “the next-generation ATS will grow in length, bringing much-needed legroom and making room for a baby brother.”
The new sub-ATS Cadillac model, which is anticipated around the 2016-2017 time-frame, may be the only rear wheel drive vehicle in that segment when the time comes. The segment is defined by the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, and BMW 2 Series. Currently, the BMW is the only vehicle in the segment with a longitudinally-mounted engine and rear-wheel-drive layout, but that may change when the next-gen 1 and 2 Series roll out, paving the way for Cadillac to occupy a very unique space in the market with a properly-balanced, rear-drive offering.